Improving customer service

Needs to start by going back to basics and by this I mean going back to caring for humanity.

This requires re-training attitudes to exercise some common decency of greeting, listening/engaging and where appropriate, applying discretionary effort.

Those who truly understand and appreciate good customer service will go the extra mile by thinking outside the box to problem solve and reach a successful outcome for both parties.

The ones that fob you off from one person/department to another, are the ones to watch out for, as this breed of customer service representatives tell you it’s out of their jurisdiction/control, fail to accept accountability and are likely to shred your complaint or hope that you quietly go away.

It’s time for organisations to ban automated generic “thanks, but no thanks” emails to unsuccessful applicants

To all the job seekers out there, I feel your pain as this automated generic ”you have been unsuccessful” email will ring all too familiar. Like you, I have been the recipient of too many to count.

If organisations are true to their word of wanting to improve their recruitment processes, how about starting with personalised emails to unsuccessful applicants?

It’s not that applicants are incapable of handling rejection but more to the point of deserving a palpable reason for being rejected. One that doesn’t involve a generic theme along the lines of…..after careful consideration, we regret to advise, on this occasion you were unsuccessful……or thank you for your application, due to the high calibre of applicants we regret to advise you were unsuccessful.

Potential applicants can spend up to an hour or two putting together their applications and all you can give them in return is an automated generic email. Surely you can do better? Is this how you expect your recruitment team to act? How about putting your recruitment team to work by personalising the email to the individual and listing the reasons for being unsuccessful? How about giving them some tips on how to improve their chances next time round?

When you apply for a car, home or personal loan, the banks always tell you (the customer) why you were unsuccessful and give you feedback on how to get there next time round. Yes they want your business! Why should organisations approach job seekers any differently? Job seekers are customers too!  If people are your biggest asset, then treat them with dignity and give them the time of day, just as they gave it to you and/or your organisation, when they completed and submitted their application.

Now I’m not entirely sure whether organisations are reluctant to provide feedback just in case they implicate themselves by saying the wrong thing (discrimination law might come into play) but seriously how hard is it to say a few sentences about the reason for the rejection? I think it’s a fair and necessary process.

Have you recently been rejected for a job? Did you receive any feedback?

Mastering the art of assertion

Whether you are interacting in a social or professional environment, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to master the art of assertion.  People often confuse assertiveness with aggression or intimidation but that couldn’t be more further from the truth.  To me assertiveness equals determination.  In my experience, assertive people know what they want, are very determined and clearly define their boundaries.  If you are hesitant or reluctant to leverage the assertive you, others will pounce on you, as they will see this as a weakness.

I recently read a great article by LinkedIn influencer, Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and CEO of WPP who talks about the “7 qualities that will get you hired”.  The second being:

The ability to argue

It’s annoying when people disagree with you, but an argument is usually a more constructive exchange than a conversation in which everyone wholeheartedly agrees with each other.

If a leader is surrounded by yes people they learn nothing. Good people know how to stand their ground and make their case – even (especially) when others don’t want to hear what they’re saying.

I couldn’t agree more!  Next time you find yourself unable to say no or disagree in a situation, have a go at practicing the art of assertion in order to boost your confidence and get what you want out of life.

 

When you are confident, you are truly unstoppable – Lilianna Kovacevic

I’m not just saying this to sound amazing, trust me it took a lot of experimenting to get to this very noble quote. I can honestly say that once you resolve to do something, and achieve it against all sceptics along your journey, you will feel unstoppable!

For me, all of my success is attributed to challenging the status quo. Now in order to challenge the status quo requires a great deal of confidence. How does one attain such levels of confidence? Speaking from my own experience, in order to boost your confidence, you need to explore your appearance, attitude and behaviour (AAB).

When I enrolled at Curtin University there were so many hurdles to overcome. I needed to look the part, play the part….be the part (enter my AAB model). Most would have given up.  Today I proudly display my degrees to all the sceptics who doubted me. Another milestone was receiving my promotion last year when clearly told I wasn’t experienced enough nor ready for one. By challenging the status quo, I self-promoted myself into a Senior Business Analyst role. Again this required a good level of confidence coupled with persistence and being at the right place at the right time. Regardless of what others might think, ultimately what matters is what YOU think and what you are going to do about it.

Now I’m not talking about arrogance or being too big for your own shoes, but more along the lines of genuine confidence, the kind that delivers long-term results, and can only be achieved if you are willing to work hard for it.

Reflecting on my own experiences, each aspiration which ran through my mind required a level of confidence to achieve.  Remember you are in control of your confidence…..this is within YOUR power.

Whatever your desire might be, it requires a level of confidence to achieve.

Make a decision today to boost your confidence and achieve your goal(s) for 2015 and beyond! Because if I can, so can you.

Have a great week!

Lilianna